Research Projects


From time to time researchers approach PACT requesting volunteers to participate in research projects.


When a research participation request is received by PACT we look to establish its credentials and ensure ethics approval has been granted.  The attached form will need to be completed by the Researcher.


The summary information provided, subject to the Researcher’s agreement, will be published in the PACT newsletter, posted here on this website and linked to from our FaceBook page.  It will also have information on how to participate or find out more about the proposed project.


There are currently two research projects active:

Are you a caregiver of someone with a chronic or complex illness?

Researchers at the University of Canberra are looking to explore the connection between patient-caregiving relationships, chronic/complex illnesses and caregiver wellbeing.

We are looking for adults who provide informal care for another adult with a chronic or complex health condition such as heart disease, respiratory illnesses, cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, arthritis or mental illness etc.

All you need to do is complete an online survey which should only take 10 minutes of your time.

If you are interested, contact PhD student, Kath Carleton or to access the survey directly click here.

This project has received approval from the University of Canberra’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC 0389)

Melatonin for sleep problems in PD

This study aims to find out whether melatonin can help people with Parkinson’s Disease to get better sleep.

Sleep problems often cause major discomfort in Parkinson’s Disease. The person’s health and quality of life is affected, as is the health of their family members, especially if they are also carers.  

Melatonin is a hormone which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, by promoting the desire to sleep at night. Studies in other conditions show that melatonin can increase sleep efficiency, decrease night-time awakenings, and help people fall asleep.

To be eligible for this study people must be:
- Aged over 30 years
- Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease by a neurologist
- Experiencing sleep difficulties, particularly getting to sleep.

If you are already on melatonin, you can still join the study to find out if it works for you.

This study involves two phases:
- Phase 1 involves answering a questionnaire, and keeping a sleep diary for two weeks.
- Phase 2 involves testing medication effectiveness for 12 weeks. During this period, you will be given both melatonin and a placebo (dummy tablet), in blocks of two weeks each, and in random order. You also need to keep a sleep diary and complete some questionnaires.

Our research has full ethics approval.

Reasons to participate:
1. You will find out if melatonin helps you fall asleep, stay asleep and your sleep quality.
2. At the end of the study, an individual report about whether the melatonin worked for you will be given to your doctor to discuss with you.
3. You will help others by assisting us to find out if melatonin should be used for people with Parkinson’s Disease who are having trouble sleeping

We hope that our research will help patients, families and medical practitioners to find a better treatment for long-term sleeping difficulties among people with Parkinson’s Disease.

To find out more or to register to participate, please go to the following link: